From time to time, people tell me, “lighten up, it’s just a dog,”
or, “that’s a lot of money for just a dog.”
They don’t understand the distance traveled, the time spent,
or the costs involved for “just a dog.”

Some of my proudest moments have come about with “just a dog.”
Many hours have passed and my only company was “just a dog,”
but I did not once feel slighted.

Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by
“just a dog,” and in those days of darkness,
the gentle touch of “just a dog”
gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.

If you, too, think it’s “just a dog,”
then you will probably understand phases
like “just a friend,” “just a sunrise,” or “just a promise.”
“Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship,
trust, and pure unbridled joy. “Just a dog” brings out the
compassion and patience that makes me a better person.

Because of “just a dog” I will rise early, take long walks
and look longingly to the future. So for me and folks like
me, it’s not “just a dog” but an embodiment of all the hopes
and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past,
and the pure joy of the moment.

“Just a dog” brings out what’s good in me and diverts
my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.

I hope that someday they can understand that it’s not
“just a dog” but the thing that gives me humanity and
keeps me from being “just a human.”

So the next time you hear the phrase “just a dog.”
just smile, because they “just don’t understand.”

Authored by Richard A. Biby